Name: Siobhan Gallagher
Lives in: I live in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.
From: I was born and grew up in a town called Newry in Northern Ireland. Although I had a happy upbringing, Northern Ireland was a troubled region to grow up in during the ‘80s and ‘90s, due to the political discord and sectarian violence which has left an imprint on all its people. I left Northern Ireland in 2004, and keen to explore more diverse countries and cultures, I’ve lived in seven other countries so far.
Occupation: I am a self-leadership and communication coach/educator. I help my clients to to reclaim their voice and direction so that they can finally fulfill their ambitions, and start ticking off their bucket list.
I generally work with individuals between the ages of 30-50 who feel like they are lost, stuck and searching for new answers. An unexpected life event – divorce, job loss, pandemic – has knocked them off track. Or maybe they’ve simply drifted into a life they no longer identify with. Perhaps things haven’t gone as planned, and now their confidence has taken a hit.
My intention is to support them in a safe, judgment-free space, where they can explore their needs and desires, create a new narrative about themselves, and take the steps to live it.
I use discourse analysis, communication training and traditional coaching methods to bring my clients on that journey of self-discovery, ownership and self-leadership. I’m also a writer and editor for the lifestyle, coaching and wellness sectors.
Tell us your first three jobs (ever!): First I worked evenings and weekends in a Spar convenience store, then at a Sainsbury’s supermarket and finally at a B&Q hardware store as a teenager.
I have always been fiercely independent and having my own money allowed me a certain level of freedom at that age. It also meant I had built up considerable work experience which gave me confidence when I entered the full-time job market. I look back on those days with great fondness. I was fortunate to have those opportunities so young.
Zodiac sign: Cancer
Enneagram type: Type 5
Tell us something most people don’t know about you: I had a secret wedding! My husband and I had a civil ceremony in Mexico planned just one month in advance, with four witnesses. We took our witnesses for a relaxed meal afterwards, went home for a rest and then went out for burgers and beers that evening. While I enjoy celebrating others’ weddings, the traditional ‘best day of your life’ white wedding concept never resonated with me personally. It felt very liberating and special to take the unconventional route, avoid all the stressful preparation, and tie the knot quickly, easily and discreetly.
Where we are most likely to find you in the community? I haven’t yet had the pleasure of attending Lynn’s yoga classes, but as soon as I make it to Athens I’ll definitely attend a night yoga class. I’m a night owl and I love an atmospheric experience.
The first time you tried Kundalini Yoga? I first tried Kundalini Yoga in Playa del Carmen, Mexico a few years ago. It was followed by a sound bath, and it was an eye-opening experience as I was quite unaware of what Kundalini involved before that. Since then I have incorporated the Kundalini elements into my own self-care practices, in particular my daily meditation.
Tell us your top tip to combat climate change: I turn the shower off between rinses when I’m lathering up and washing my hair and body. That saves litres of water every time.
Anything else you’d like us to know?: My main focus this year is to educate people on assertiveness, which is a very misunderstood communication skill. Many believe that assertiveness is about being forceful and getting your own way – and it’s not. Once you become forceful you are stepping into aggression and that is not assertive. The corporate world has contributed to this inaccurate view of such a useful practice, although this is changing as corporate culture and well-being become more important.
My Potent Presence programme teaches how assertiveness is really about self-expression, self-trust and integrity – and its rewards extend beyond successful communication and improved relationships, to peace of mind, better self-care and confidence.
We cannot always get what we want because we cannot control others and how they respond. We can only control our own expression and reactions, and assertiveness teaches us how to do that in alignment with our values, while respecting others, whether or not we agree with them. In doing so, we teach others to do the same and the possibilities for successful, effective communication grow. Learn more at my website or follow me on Instagram.